Republican senators seek more sanctions on Iran

Senator Lindsey Graham says Republicans will introduce legislation imposing more sanctions on Iran over its missile tests.

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Elad Benari,

Lindsey Graham
Lindsey Graham
Reuters

American Republican senators are planning to introduce legislation to impose further sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile tests, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday, according to Reuters.

"I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they’ve done outside the nuclear program," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was quoted as having told the Munich Security Conference.

He added that he and other Republicans would introduce measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions.

"Iran is a bad actor in the greatest sense of the word when it comes to the region. To Iran, I say, if you want us to treat you differently then stop building missiles, test-firing them in defiance of UN resolution and writing 'Death to Israel' on the missile. That's a mixed message," Graham said, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration recently imposed new sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran's ballistic missile program and those providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force.

The sanctions came in response to a ballistic missile test conducted by Iran, in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and which went into effect after the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers was signed.

Iran has responded angrily to the sanctions, with the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dismissing calls from the Trump administration to cease the country’s ballistic missile tests.

In addition, Iranian officials have warned the United States against attacking Iran, with one senior official recently threatening his country would attack Tel Aviv if the United States "makes a mistake".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told the Munich Conference on Sunday that Iran did not respond well to sanctions or threats.

James Jones, a former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and President Barack Obama’s first national security adviser, told a separate event in Munich that he remained convinced that sanctions had persuaded Iran to negotiate the 2015 landmark deal with six world powers to curb its nuclear program.

"The sanctions did work. Iran would never have come to the negotiating table without sanctions," Jones said, according to Reuters. "This is a new form of response that if properly utilized can change behavior and get people to do things that they otherwise wouldn't do."








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